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Mutuality & accountability in the housing association sector

Mutuality & accountability in the housing association sector is the report of the Mutual Governance:Mutual Outcomes project, set up to explore the value of mutuality in mutual housing associations in the UK.

Mutual housing associations are defined as associations that:

  • offer legal membership to their tenants, service users and possibly to their employees
  • see their mutuality as a key defining part of their identity
  • take active steps to promote membership and involve those who become members in their governance and decision making.

Section One of the report – standards of accountability – explores the importance of accountability in housing associations, and how accountability in the sector is perceived. It draws from a series of interviews with commentators from the housing association sector, the co-operative movement and others. The full list of those interviewed is shown in Appendix 1. The section concludes with a set of desired accountability features for the sector.

Section Two of the report asks ‘can mutuality deliver’ – discussing mutual delivery of outcomes through examination of seven case-study housing associations – members of the Confederation of Co-operative Housing – who established the Mutual Governance: Mutual Outcomes project. All are registered with their respective social housing regulator to provide affordable homes, and were originally set up following transfer of local authority homes.

Section Three of the report asks how does mutuality in housing work in the seven case-study housing associations and more broadly what becoming a mutual housing association means.

The project is supported by the University of Birmingham’s Housing and Communities Research Group.

Management United Kingdom
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